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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Recruiting & Reaching Digital Natives vs. Digital Immigrants: Part One of a Three-Part Series



By Jessica Miller-Merrell

I’ve talked a lot about how important it is to approach recruiting in the same way a marketing pro would try to increase sales but there is no place that this is truer than when you need to reach a specific type of candidate - one that can’t be categorized by experience level, industry or region. We all know ways to seek out candidates that fit those types of criteria but are you familiar with ways to reach candidates based on their familiarity with online networks and technology in general?

Why you’d want to You may think it wouldn’t matter how much time a candidate spends online, how interactive they are on social networks or when they joined Twitter but it does. One of the most valuable things you have is time, and when you are spending quite a bit of time casting a wide net hoping that your recruiting efforts stick, you’re not using your time very wisely. This is because the approach to reach digital natives is far different than the approach to reach digital immigrants. They interact in different ways, visit different websites and react to different things. When you understand each group and how to reach them, you’ll be more productive in your efforts and more successful in your hiring.

Thinking like a marketer If you’re going to reach your target demographic, you must start thinking like a marketer. You can skip the SWOT analysis (though it probably wouldn’t hurt) and go straight for the starting point of any great campaign: research. Part two of this series will hit the nail on the head for this category as we look at characteristics of digital natives and digital immigrants but you’ll also want to look at industry- or region-specific online spaces where your target candidates may be spending their time before you begin.

The next step is to develop your strategy. Again, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a presentation-worthy layout of your entire strategic plan, but if you plan to reach a specific group, you’ll need a specific plan that defines the channels you’ll use, when you’ll use them and what follow up will be done. The execution of this plan will be the simple part since the strategy is already there.

What stays the same Despite whom you’re marketing to or how you market to them, one things is the same: they all need a common gathering place, which is you and your team. Your talent networks come into play in a major way in this area because despite whether they prefer to text, talk or email, people desire interaction on some level. Making the most of a strategic recruiting strategy involves a mix of many channels and many people, connecting conversing and developing relationship.

Have you considered developing separate strategies for various candidate groups? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @blogging4jobs

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